Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has earned the praise of arguably the best coach in the team’s history, Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bud Grant.
Most fans of the Minnesota Vikings would say that Bud Grant is the best coach the team has ever had. He had a tough demeanor as head coach which is still seen today. However, current head coach Mike Zimmer has the potential to join Grant as one of the best in the franchise’s history.
It wasn’t easy for Zimmer to become a head coach. He bounced around the league, taking promotions when available, and waiting for a team to take a shot on him as a leader. That wait took longer than many expected, as he didn’t land his first head coaching job until 2014.
But, until that time, Zimmer had the opportunity to work with a lot of great coaches and players, gathering experience and knowledge that would help him become a head coach. This is one thing that legendary coach Bud Grant admires when looking at Zimmer according to an article on Vikings.com.
"“You accumulate a lot of people’s ideas. When you hire a coach, I don’t want to hire somebody that knows what I know,” Grant said. “I’ve got to hire somebody that knows things I don’t know. Zim’ has been with a lot of coaches and he’s accumulated ideas.”"
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That experience can be a blessing. Having worked through many trial-and-error type situations with other squads means that Zimmer isn’t likely to repeat those mistakes.
"“If any situation comes up, he’s very capable of handling it,” Grant continued. “I just had to learn through experience right or wrong. I think he brings all that to the table. He’s been there, done that, seen the great coaches he’s worked with. He brings all that to one core group here, and I think that puts us in good standing.”"
Putting the Minnesota Vikings in good standing is an excellent way of stating what Zimmer has done to this point. He has taken a struggling franchise with no direction and given them focus, leading the team to their first division title in 6 years in just his second year.
"“He’s got an approach, too, that’s good,” Grant said. “He’s no-nonsense. You’re getting paid big money? You better put out. You better do as much as you’re capable of doing, otherwise, you won’t be around. That’s why this team is on the up slope.”"
There is no doubt that Mike Zimmer has put the Minnesota Vikings moving in the right direction, but the only question is whether or not he can take the team to the next level. The ultimate goal for the team is the Super Bowl, but it sounds like Bud Grant believes Zimmer can be the man to get that done.